The Cincinnati Bengals uniforms are among the worst in football and quarterback, Boomer Esiason isn’t shy about stating that fact. Per an article released on Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, Esiason stated, “The one thing I will say going into next year, the Bengals are going to have to redo their uniforms. They are just horrific. I don’t like them.”
Esiason went on to say, “They’ve just got too much stuff going on. Too much orange. Too many things happening on that uniform. They need to tone it down. It’s hard to tone down tiger stripes, but you can. I just think that the jerseys over the last 15 years just have not been all that great looking.”
Related: Cincinnati Bengals Uniform History
Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. The Bengals have among the most horrific uniforms in football. The duds, which debuted in 2004, They’re incredibly outdated leftovers from the forgotten Reebok era, complete with annoying side panels, accents, and drop shadow numbers.
But, what should the Bengals replace their duds with?
Here are my ideas.
A Brief History
While many NFL fans would love to see the Bengals return to either their 1981-1996 uniform or their 1997-2003 base – slight differences exist between the looks – I’d like to see something fresh. Here’s a fact: The Bengals have never had great uniforms.
Unique? Of course. But never great, dating back to 1968 when they basically had a look that was a knockoff of the Cleveland Browns. Finally, in 1981, the Bengals got rid of their Cleveland-like eyesores and opted for something unique. Again, the uniform has always been so, but this one truly gave the Bengals an identity.
Related: Cincinnati Bengals Jersey History
Which is probably why fans are longing for a return to such a look and okay, I’ll concede that I’d be content with it.
But there’s something better than the Bengals can capitalize on.
While I’m a traditionalist when it comes to uniforms, I’d love to see the Bengals whip out something fresh, yet with a traditional base. Well, traditional in the Bengals sense.
For me, the team’s popular color rush serves as the perfect base road uniform. It features black, block numbering, predominately a simple black and white color scheme, and black and white tiger stripes on the sleeves and pants.
The only difference I’d like to see are the sock colors. Instead of white, I’d go with black. I’d also like to see the team get rid of that annoying ‘B’ logo on the chest and all orange marks, instead opting for a simple black and white color scheme.
The home uniform would simply be an inverse of the road look with a black jersey and white, block numbering.
Finally, the helmet on this uniform would be white, getting rid of the orange that the team has had since its inception.
Related: Cincinnati Bengals Helmet History
And that’s it. No third jersey. No black pants that would create a monochrome look. Just a uniform based on the team’s color rush design.
Of course, I wouldn’t flip if the team kept orange around as an accent or tertiary color, and it appears Esiason agrees with the fact a white-shelled helmet would look epic with the color rush uniform.
Here’s what he said: “The helmet is great. The helmet is awesome,” Esiason said. “But if they do go to white helmets, then they can go to the white Bengal tiger. And they have actually worn all-white when they did the Color Rush, and they were white and black. And it looked great. It really looked great. But you have to have a white helmet along with it with the Bengal stripes on it.”
Sure, the change is radical, but it’s a shift from a uniform that has way too much going on to a simple uniform with instant-classic potential.
Are the Bengals Next?
I wouldn’t rule it out. With a new franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow plus the fact the team never made it beyond the Wildcard playoffs in their current duds may warrant a much-needed change for the team. In 2020, seven teams made changes to their uniforms, with five of them being radical changes for the better or worse.
Related: Cincinnati Bengals Logo History
So, perhaps the Bengals will gain some wisdom and get rid of those horrific Halloween costumes they’ve played in for 17 seasons.
Let’s just hope they go the same way as the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers rather than the Los Angeles Rams.
As stated above, go with the color rush look as a base, turn the helmet white, and go with a basic black and white color scheme. Simply inverse the white color rush jersey to fit the home uniform and you have an instant classic. Keep the helmet markings the same, just change the shell color. Adopt black socks but DO NOT go with black pants as it’ll create a leotard look and they never work even if teams think they are fantastic ideas. They aren’t.
Tell me, do you think the Bengals should change their uniforms?